So, you’ve decided to hire a virtual assistant (VA). First off, congratulations! That is a great step forward because you’ve decided that your business has grown so much that you can’t do all the work yourself. That’s an amazing accomplishment! Now you must find the right virtual assistant for you and your business, and there is a lot to consider. Don’t worry – we’re here to tell you what you need to know before hiring your first virtual assistant.
Of course, you want to work with someone you like and get along with. It’s important to interview virtual assistants with a video call. By interviewing over video, you can see their body language, how much they are smiling and paying attention to you, and their overall mannerisms. It’s easier to fake this over the phone, so setting up video interviews will allow you to see someone’s true self.
Before starting your VA search, decide on the tasks you are comfortable handing over to someone else. VA’s offer a variety of services, some of which include:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Website design and maintenance
- Email management
- Calendar management
- Webinar management
- Graphic design
- Video editing
- And so much more!
While interviewing your potential virtual assistant, understand what exactly they can do for you. Some virtual assistants have prebuilt packages and offer specific deliverables. Most of the time, they will be flexible with your needs and can create a custom package. In the contract between the two of you, clearly state what services you expect them to deliver. For example, how many posts per week is your social media manager expected to post? Will they be writing the post, creating the graphic, then scheduling the post? Or will they only be scheduling posts? It’s important to set expectations at the beginning of your working relationship, so there isn’t miscommunication or frustrations.
As an entrepreneur, your business is your baby, so it can be hard to imagine someone else doing some of the work for you. This is your opportunity to delegate tasks that you don’t enjoy doing or taking up too much of your time. Don’t be afraid to train someone to do these tasks the way you want them done.
It’s important to find someone who has similar habits in the workplace as you. For example, you may prefer to communicate over email, while someone else prefers texting. Now, this is a minor example, but it could impact how well you work with someone. Here are some things to think about:
- Communication style
- Time management skills
- How well they work with deadlines
- Time of day they work
- Time zone they are in
While interviewing a VA, ask questions about these topics to understand how well your work habits align. It may be important to you to have someone in the same time zone as you so you are working at similar times and can collaborate during the day. Maybe that isn’t a priority to you, and you’re happy as long they can do the work.
Where to Find VAs
The biggest question – where do I start looking for my perfect VA? Many virtual assistants are in entrepreneur-focused Facebook groups or on Instagram. Join groups that are specifically for entrepreneurs to find a variety of VAs. Many groups will allow you to post a job opportunity, and depending on the size of the group, you could get hundreds of responses.
I would stay away from Google search because many virtual assistant businesses are a team of 1-2 and unlikely to appear in top search results. If you are looking for an agency to help with your VA work, Google would be the way to go.
You can also find VAs on freelancer sites such as Fiverr or Upwork. Simply post a job opportunity and describe what you are looking for. These two sites are popular among virtual assistants, so you are bound to find someone there. However, be wary in your search on these sites because some people are looking for a quick buck and don’t have the experience or skills they say they do. If you schedule a video interview and they refuse, it could indicate they aren’t a professional.
Remember that your perfect VA is out there! Know the type of person you want to hire and that their skills, personality, and work ethic align with yours. We have a master list of questions to ask your VA before hiring them. You can download the guide here. Good luck with your search, and let us know if you have any questions.